Marvel Fanfare #14 (Quicksilver)
Issue(s): Marvel Fanfare #14 (Quicksilver story only)
Terrible, messy art.
There was no reason to include this garbage in an issue of an expensive prestige format book (other than, perhaps, it was the right number of pages).
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: There's a conundrum regarding the placement of this issue. The opening narration describes the Inhumans as a people that "live in the a hidden land deep in the Himalayas". And a footnote confirms that this takes place "prior to the Inhumans' move to the moon". And while we don't actually see any mountains in the background, we do see an open sky with clouds, which seemingly confirms that it takes place in the Himalayas.
But the story also takes place during the supposedly traditional "three days of separation" after Crystal has given birth. And Luna was born in Fantastic Four #240, on the moon, in the issue where the Inhumans moved to the moon. So that's a seeming impossibility; this can't take place prior to the move to the moon if Luna hasn't yet been born. Crystal's having given birth is mentioned multiple times and is a character motive for Quicksilver in this story (e.g. when a ne'er-do-well Inhuman is trying to convince Quicksilver to embrace the fact that he's been branded a criminal, Quicksilver says that he owes the Royal Family nothing but "to my wife and daughter... I owe a great deal"). So it can't be ignored
The good news is that Luna isn't actually referred to by name in this story (since she isn't given her name until FF #248). This could actually be fodder for a retcon story where Quicksilver and Crystal has a child prior to Luna, while the Inhumans were still on Earth. But that's not the sort of retcon that i'm here to make. So barring that, it must be the case that this does take place after the Inhumans have moved to the moon. The opening narration can be dismissed as a generic out-of-date introduction, and footnotes have been wrong before. The depiction of the sky is a minor thing which can also be ignored or explained as some sort of atmospheric feature of the Blue Area.
I had to cut this issue up because the first story has to take place at a different time. These awful Marvel Fanfare issues could at least not give me so much trouble!
Continuity Insert? Y (inventory story)
My Reprint: N/A
Hmmm... Maybe I need to look at these scans on a bigger screen. This artwork doesn't look particularly messy to me. A little over rendered, maybe. Perhaps slightly stiff. But not messy. And certainly not terrible. Again, I'm looking at this on a pretty tiny screen. And I'm only seeing a handful of panels while you're basing your review on the entire issue, so maybe you know something I don't.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | April 25, 2013 12:49 AM
I've added two more scans. Obviously everyone has different tastes. And i've said before my vocabulary for describing art needs improving. But i think that picture of Crystal is atrocious. Maybe that's "overly rendered" to you. ;-)
In the new scans, i think those speed lines are a disaster. The last scan may suggest that part of the problem was the coloring. But the overall impression is sloppy lines everywhere and weird looking faces.
Always happy to hear other people's opinions.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 25, 2013 10:51 AM
The image of Crystal's face is... atrocious. She looks like she is heavily drunk or worse.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | August 6, 2013 11:45 PM
It also goes poorly with the words. I think the artist intended her to be beatific and radiant, to go with Quicksilver's longings and musings, but she looks...cheap. Like, "Hey, boys! Come get a piece of this!"
Posted by: Todd | August 7, 2013 6:53 AM
"This story takes place after the birth of Luna (Fantastic Four #240) but before the Inhumans go to the moon (Fantastic Four #248)."
This statement is wrong, although it's consistent with what's given in this comic (MF #14). Luna was born after the Inhumans went to the Moon, all of which happened in FF #240, not #248. It was only her naming ceremony that took place in FF #248. She was named Luna precisely because she was the first child born on the Moon.
I don't have this comic, but from what we have here, I'm thinking this story must have either ( 1.) happened on the Moon, or ( 2.) happened on Earth, while Attilan was still on Earth, and before Luna was born. One of these must be true for the story to be in continuity with the FF series.
I prefer option 1. That would mean Editori-Al Milgrom simply made a mistake in his footnote, and editors make footnote mistakes all the time. Option 2 would require Pietro's thought balloon in the same panel to be mistaken regarding the timing of his own daughter's birth. More importantly perhaps, option 1 fits okay with the present index chronology, wherein this comic is sequenced in between FF #245 and #246.
Other considerations which I can't check: ( a.) Luna will not be named until #248, so her name should not be referenced in this comic. ( b.) If the FF are in this comic, the Thing should be in his rocky form (ref. FF #245), and Frankie Raye should no longer be an FF member (ref. FF #244).
Posted by: Holt | May 22, 2018 12:40 PM
Thanks Holt. Yeah this turned out to be a major conundrum. I've added a lot of notes to the Considerations. Basically i agree with your option #1.
(To answer your other considerations, Luna's name isn't used in the issue and the FF don't appear/aren't depicted in any way.)
Posted by: fnord12 | May 22, 2018 2:40 PM
I should have realized that the FF don't appear by simply looking at the Characters Appearing section, but I'm still getting used to having these extra tools at my disposal here. I vaguely remember reading this story once long ago, probably out of the back issue boxes, and probably for no better reason than because it had the FF on the cover. I didn't catch the continuity gaffe at that time. In many ways it's a better and much more comprehensive experience being able to go over all these old stories in chronological continuity using this site. I agree that this is not much of a story, and pretty disposable. You're probably right in supposing that it's likely just an old inventory story, and one in which the editor missed the continuity slips when they repurposed the story for Marvel Fanfare. Like many Marvel Fanfare stories, it's easily forgettable, disposable, and presented without much consequence to the larger continuities. Also too expensive and not really deserving of the higher priced format. A lot of these MF stories look pretty garish, badly colored, and blurry. I think that's probably because they weren't originally geared towards taking advantage of this less forgiving format.
Posted by: Holt | May 23, 2018 8:39 AM
Was this really an inventory story? If so, from where? It doesn't feature any characters who had their own title circa 1981. And the annuals at the time weren't doing back-up stories. The writer, Mary Jo Duffy, did write two back-up feature for Marvel Treasury Editions in 1980, but this piece doesn't seem like it's something Marvel would put in a Treasury Edition. I'd be interested in knowing what this was originally written for. God forbid it was written for Marvel Fanfare...
Posted by: Peter Niemeyer | June 19, 2018 11:05 AM
There aren't many back-ups in annuals around this time, but there are some. The Vision has one in Avengers Annual #6, and Doc Samson has one in Hulk Annual #11. Tellingly, the latter is written by Mary Jo Duffy, and is apparently an inventory story itself - it's Frank Miller's first Marvel work, but was published at least three years after his first credit. Maybe there were plans for some Annuals to have back-ups in the late 70s that never quite came to fruition? If that's the case, this could have been intended for an Avengers Annual.
Posted by: James M | June 19, 2018 3:24 PM
"In 1976, Marvel commissioned a series of five-to-six page backup stories to break in rookie talent and relieve deadline pressure when creative teams ran late. The initiative was short lived and many of the stories only saw print years later."
This is in Marvel Masterworks Avengers Vol. 18 describing a back-up that was featured in Marvel Tales #100 - it might be applicable here.
Posted by: AF | June 19, 2018 4:32 PM
Mark Drummond and I discussed this in the comments of Bizarre Adventures 27 (Iceman). Apparently, this story was supposed to appear in Bizarre Adventures 27. However, as Mark pointed out, it was supposed to be taken from inventory, not created for Bizarre Adventures, which raises the question where this story was originally supposed to come from. That explains the continuity problems- it was produced while the Inhumans were still in the Himalayas.
Posted by: Michael | June 20, 2018 12:06 AM
Comments are now closed.
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